Thursday, December 27, 2012

D Andrew Ference (Portland, 1994-99) has left Ceske Budejovice (Czech Republic, Extraliga). He had two goals and five assists in 21 games. Ference left to rejoin his family in Boston, but didn’t rule out rejoining Ceske Budejovice before the end of January should the NHL owners cancel the rest of the season.
The Regina Pats are hoping to have Chandler Stephenson, their top centre, back in the lineup for a game tonight against the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors. Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post reports that Stephenson, who hasn’t played since suffering a skate cut to a foot on Oct. 19, was to practise on Wednesday, after which head coach Pat Conacher would ponder a decision. . . . Harder also reports that D Luke Fenske (wrist) and F Dyson Stevenson (virus) are day-to-day, with D Colton Jobke (hand) and F Dryden Hunt (concussion) “a ways away.”
Harder also reported that former Pats F Andrew Rieder, 20, underwent shoulder surgery on Dec. 19, thereby ending his junior career. After being released by the Pats as they worked to get down to three 20-year-olds, Rieder, who is from Regina, joined the OHL’s Peterborough Petes. He played five games there before his recurring shoulder problems brought it all to and end. . . . “Because I got it done (now), my junior career is over,” Rieder told Harder. “At first it was a really hard pill to swallow. Growing up in Regina and playing for the Pats and then moving away and playing in the O and all of a sudden it’s over. It’s definitely difficult but I’m grateful for the opportunity that both the Pats and Peterborough gave me.”
The Moose Jaw Warriors go into Regina tonight having lost three straight games, and they are missing a few players with D Morgan Rielly with Canada at the World Junior Championship and three others at the U17 World Hockey Challenge. . . . F Jordan Wyton (suspected concussion) is close to returning from a 14-game absence, while Matthew Gourlie of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald reports that the Warriors had five young faces on the ice yesterday – G Zach Sawchenko (midget AAA Notre Dame Hounds), D Royce Rossignol (major midget Valley West Hawks in B.C.), F Jayden Halbgewachs (midget AAA Regina Pat Canadians), F Darcy DeRoose (SJHL’s Estevan Bruins) and F Ethan Williams (midget AAA Winnipeg Hawks). . . . Halbgewachs, the fourth overall selection in the 2012 bantam draft, was acquired from the Kamloops Blazers in the Joel Edmundson swap earlier this month. Halbgewachs is from Emerald Park, a community just east of Regina, and he just might make his WHL debut in Regina tonight.
If you happened by the Vancouver Giants’ website on Wednesday evening, you may have come across a video feature on how Liam Liston planned on spending Boxing Day. There was, however, no mention of retirement.
However, late on Wednesday, Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province tweeted: that the Giants “say G Liam Liston, 19, has retired. Tyler Fuhr, 17, to carry load with Payton Lee, 16, away.”
Lee, who has been starting the bulk of the Giants’ games, is with Team Pacific at the U17 World Hockey Challenge in Quebec.
With Liston gone, the Giants had G Stefan Wornig, 15, at practice yesterday. Wornig, from White Rock, B.C., was a fifth-round selection by the Giants in the 2012 bantam draft.
Ewen has a complete report right here.
This appeared on the website of the SJHL’s Weyburn Red Wings on Wednesday:
“After discussions between the Weyburn Red Wings and Dwight McMillan, the Weyburn Red Wings regretfully accepted his decision to retire. The Weyburn Red Wings would like to thank Dwight for his many years of service and dedication to the Wings and wish him all the best in any future endeavours he may pursue. This will be effective immediately.”
Prior to this season, McMillan, 68, had said it would be his final season.
"It's going to be hard (to leave the job) because I still enjoy coaching and working with the kids and everything else," McMillan told Ian Hamilton of the Regina Leader-Post in September. "But when you're pushing 69, holy mackerel, there has to come a time when you've got to say you're quitting. Sooner or later, I'm going to have to quit and spend time with my wife (Diane). It has been 40 years doing this."
McMillan has been the Red Wings’ head coach since 1972, with the exception of two seasons in the late 1980s.
Under McMillan, the Red Wings won SJHL titles in 1984, '94, '95, '97, '98 and 2001. They won Canadian junior A titles in 1984 and 2005.
This season, the Red Wings are 9-19-2 and last in the six-team Sherwood Division.
The Brandon Wheat Kings had a familiar face skating with them on Wednesday. F Michael Ferland, 20, who has been with the AHL’s Abbotsford Heat, was on the ice in Brandon. He had 96 points, including 47 goals, with the Wheat Kings last season. However, he had gotten into only seven games with the Heat and three with the ECHL’s Utah Grizzlies this season. He was a fifth-round selection by the Calgary Flames in the NHL’s 2010 draft. . . . Should Ferland get clearance from the Flames to return to Brandon, the Wheat Kings would have 14 days in which to move one of the three 20-year-olds now on their roster, either F Nick Buonassisi, D Ryley Miller or D Tyler Yaworski.

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